Where Should You Install A Split AC In Your House And Why?

Did you know that the placement of your split system air conditioner in your home has a significant impact on its energy efficiency?

That's right, a strategically placed air conditioning system doesn't only mean you achieve your desired results in terms of temperature control, but it also means lower electricity bills!

Let's take a look at all the factors you need to consider before you have your split air conditioner installed - so that you (and your wallet) can reap the rewards.



Factors To Consider Before Installing Split System Air Conditioners

Where Do You Need it Most?

The easiest way to figure this out is to think about the following questions:

  • Where do you (or your family) spend most of your time when at home?
  • Do you struggle to sleep on hot nights?
  • Do you work from home and spend hours in your office, or lounge?

This will help you to determine which room to pick. Most people tend to install the air conditioner in a room where their family spends a lot of time, like the lounge or office, or they choose to put it in their bedroom.

Do You Need to Cool/Heat Only One Room Or the Whole House?

But what if you need to cool or heat more than one room in your home?

If that's the case, your best option is to install your air conditioning unit in a central location in your home, this is usually somewhere in the lounge area.

And you'll need to make sure that you choose an AC that has enough power to cool your whole house.

What Is The Best Position For Your Air Conditioner?

The Best Position 

As a general guideline, the most appropriate place to put an indoor unit is:

  • High up on the wall, near the ceiling. Since hot air rises, your AC will counter this effect by ensuring the air higher up in the room is just as cool as the air closer to the floor.
  • In the centre of the room. This is to ensure that the cool air can spread evenly through the room, or through your house, and not collect in one specific area.
  • On an exterior wall. If the unit is on an exterior wall, it makes the installation much simpler, quicker and cheaper. Why? Less tubing and wiring are needed between the indoor and outdoor units, unlike having your AC unit mounted on an interior wall. That can make things a lot more complicated.

Obstacles

Obviously, it won't always be possible to meet all of the guidelines mentioned above, here are some obstacles that you might encounter:

No available exterior walls

  • You live in a duplex, or adjoined apartment
  • Your property features wall to ceiling windows instead of exterior walls
  • Some rooms have no exterior walls. If this is the case, the only option is to install your split system air conditioner on an interior wall - which will be more complicated and costly!

Obstruction

The following things could obstruct the airflow, and make you reconsider where you position your AC:

  • French doors
  • Half walls
  • Columns or pillars
  • Dividing walls

Nearby Appliances

This issue isn't very common but it's worth mentioning. If you install your air conditioner close to a room with electrical appliances (like the kitchen), the excess heat from cooking, for example, could trigger your AC's thermostat.

This would be unnecessary, and less energy efficient.



Where is the Best Place to Install the Outdoor Unit?

First of all, does it really matter? Yes!

The location of your outdoor unit will affect its ability to heat and cool efficiently, lengthen its lifespan, and energy usage.

Here are some tips for where to install the outdoor AC unit:

  • Place it in the shade. Avoid placing it in an area that receives a lot of direct sunlight
  • Make sure it's in a well-ventilated spot. It should be exposed to free-flowing air on all sides of the unit. Avoid shrubbery being too close.
  • Avoid an unstable surface. A concrete slab or a wall is best so that it won't vibrate.
  • Prevent corrosion. Install the system in an area where it won't be exposed to or damaged by corrosive substances.

To Wrap It Up

If you're thinking about installing a split system air conditioner in your home, it's crucial that you mount it in the right place.

Consider using a reputable high-quality service, like Sun City Air Conditioning in Brisbane.

Working with an aircon expert will guarantee that you pick the very best location to install your indoor and outdoor unit to get the results you seek and save on your energy bills at the same time.


*Collaborative post

Is It Worth Parting With Carpet In Place Of A Painted Staircase?

Whether it’s located directly in front of you when you open your entrance door or is hidden away in a cute little corner of your cottage, your staircase probably plays a pretty major role in making your home more welcoming. After all, this is one of the largest design features of any property, and the chances are that the eyes are naturally drawn here, even for guests who have no real cause to head upstairs.

Despite this, countless homeowners are guilty of overlooking effective staircase design in place of either keeping what’s already there when they move in or simply opting for what they’ve always done – plain carpets and a pretty uninspiring finish. At the very most, you may have scattered a few pictures or a gallery wall around your stairway to help it pop, but you’re likely reserving the majority of your decor prowess for the actual rooms in your home instead.


In reality, though, as we’re quickly realising from trends like the painted staircases seen in the homes of even top designers like Sao Paulo, there’s no reason why our stairs should keep on being an afterthought. In fact, by stripping back standard, uninspiring carpets that often end up looking tired from heavy usage anyway, we can transform these functional additions into one of the most striking home features possible.

Of course, if you’ve always had carpeted stairs, a painted staircase can seem like a pretty daunting move. To help put your mind at ease, we’re going to consider precisely why this could be a move worth making in any kind of property.

1, Painted stairs are cost-effective

While stairs tend to have a relatively small surface area, the work that goes into cutting and fitting a carpet for this purpose can see installation costing easily as much as it would in your largest room. This is the case on even a straightforward modern staircase, but older properties with winding and narrow staircases particularly pose problems that can end up costing a great deal. Unfortunately, the complexity of this task means that you can’t just ditch the experts and expect decent results for less. By comparison, painting your staircase couldn’t be easier, and will only cost as much as the expense of a decent floor paint that’s specifically designed with durability and non-slip benefits in mind. Then, you’ll be able to get stuck straight in without once worrying about escalating labour costs or the expense of entire rolls of carpet that are only going to get cut up to fit this purpose.

 

2. The best designs

The growing prevalence of painted staircases inside the homes of top designers and stylish celebs is also a testament to the fact that paint is one of the best options from a modern design perspective. This is especially true considering that staircase carpets are most often chosen for function alone, and can quickly become worn down and tired because of the usage they receive. By comparison, painting your staircase in any colour of your choice allows you to tie this feature into other elements of your rooms in an entirely new way, and can work amazingly with decor choices or colour schemes in general. The stripped-back simplicity of a painted staircase also lends itself perfectly to more elaborate choices elsewhere in this space, including most often the addition of a stair runner, a striking stair rail, or some art pieces that really set your stairs alight. None of which would look half as good if it was drawing attention to a carpet that you’d likely rather no one looked at too closely.

3.  An always fresh finish

Sort of in keeping with the design benefits of a painted staircase is the fact that this style choice can also provide a far fresher finish than a sometimes stifling carpet. In large part, this is because removing the volume of carpet and underlay can, in itself, open up even a steep or small staircase, while the polished, sleek finish of any painted staircase is guaranteed to help brighten your space. The ability to play around with even bold and bright colours can also be great for this purpose, ensuring that as well as drawing the eye, a painted staircase can add light and life to even a dingy entrance hall. Not to mention that, from a purely practical standpoint, a painted staircase that is going to retain its condition for longer (if you use the right paints as mentioned) is guaranteed to help any landing or stairway feel far fresher than a carpet that will look tired after even a year or less of wear.

 

4.  A purely practical solution


All other benefits aside, painted staircases also provide the undeniable plus of being a far more practical solution overall. As already mentioned, this practicality can be enjoyed from even the early stages of installation by owners of small or older properties with winding, steep staircases. Even in a modern property, however, painted staircases that simply require regular dusting and mopping to stay looking their best is guaranteed to be an easier choice than carpet that requires difficult manoeuvres with the vacuum cleaner every time. As simple as that, cleaning your staircase can go from being a dreaded chore that you avoid as much as possible, to being one of the easiest cleaning jobs to manage across the whole house.

A final word


The carpeted staircase certainly still has its place, and there’s no reason that you can’t make a great carpet work here if you’re dedicated to the cause. However, with painted staircases becoming increasingly popular for obvious reasons, it’s no longer true to say that carpet should be your go-to stairway choice. Instead, consider these benefits and how they stand to improve your home overall. Then, look out for some of the fantastic painted staircase inspiration now available on sites like Pinterest, and consider realistically if perhaps a painted staircase isn’t a preferable option for your home after all.


*Collaborative post

How To Travel Well This Holiday Season

More than two years after the start of the pandemic, travel is something that’s more in demand now than ever before. Having survived two years of either no holidays or mostly staycations, many of us are keen to make up for the lost time this Summer. But how to do it? More to the point perhaps, how to do it well, so that our holidays do not end up making us more tired than when we started? Here are some useful tips to get you started:

1. Planning is your friend

planning travel

With all the talk about the ‘post-pandemic’ world that we’re now allegedly living in, it might be easy to forget that COVID is not quite gone yet. Wherever you decide to go, read up on the latest COVID travel advice to make sure you get all the required vaccinations, masks and tests in order in time. Also, be sure to send your passport in for renewal in time, delays are up to 10 weeks in the UK at the moment. 

2. Be considerate

This links to the last point. Beyond getting on the plane, cultural expectations of what might be required in places you plan to see on your trip may also vary widely. It might be worth reading up on the latest advice from local travel guides, not just the official government sites, to avoid any disappointments. Wherever you go, think beyond the travel hot spots: consider the people you will meet on the other end of your plane journey. Their attitudes to where we are in the pandemic trajectory might be quite different to your own. 

In a recent InStyle article, the travel writer, Annie Daly, highlighted this point. Being considerate of the people we’re visiting on our travels is good practice, whenever and wherever we go. It might have always been true, but it has never been more apparent than in the new ‘post-pandemic’ reality. It might be worth talking to some friends who have recently travelled to the region or looking at some travel advice from locals living in the area before you fully commit to the destination.

3. Plan B

Following on the first point (and the recent USA Today article), make sure that you are prepared to stay an extra week or even ten days, depending on the local guidelines, in case you do catch COVID as a result of your travels. Ensure you have an idea of where you might stay in case that happens and that you have good travel insurance or enough cash to pay for the extra days, should the need arise.

4. Be smart about your destinations 

Freiburg Germany

Perhaps you’ve dreamt about sea bathing in Greece for a while? Or finally, seeing the sights in Rome? It might pay not to get too set on your dream destination this year. With so many people longing to go away after an extended wait, the travel industry is expecting to see a boom this year, according to The NY Times, Business Wire or Fortune. Thus, being smart about your destination choices this year might be more important than ever, especially if you’re still trying to avoid excessively crowded places. Avoid the more popular tourist spots, like Rome, and consider some more hidden gems, such as Freiburg, Germany, for a more pleasurable, less crowded experience.

5. Don’t give up on staycations

Not completely anyway. Particularly if the prospect of all this planning puts you off a bit. While you might be really keen to go somewhere further this year, having kept away for a long while, travelling smart in the ‘post-pandemic’ reality might mean being a bit more strategic. 

If you want to travel stress-free, staycations might be your best option, at least for the time being. They involve less time spent preparing for the various possible local COVID restrictions, including booking tests, printing COVID passes or getting more vaccines (not to mention no need for standing in boarding queues!). Or it might be the case that combining an escape to a hidden gem destination abroad with a couple of long weekends away more locally would be the best way to satisfy your explorer curiosity, while also being more mindful of your budget. Of course, it is also important to make sure that your car is insured when going for a staycation. Being insured guarantees that if you ever get involved in an accident, you're covered.

Either way, staycations might be worth considering again this year for a less stressful holiday plan. (And let’s not forget the added benefit of being greener!)

6. Travel light

A rather compact, but well-designed weekend bag can take you a long way. It can be a holiday go-to, especially if you are planning some weekends away this season, as well as the perfect bag for a family day out or a quick work trip. A well-made leather changing bag could also provide for most of your essential needs – from personal, baby and work, all the way through to that dream getaway. It can offer just the flexibility you need in your busy life, meeting both your practical and aesthetic needs. This season might be just the one to get that perfect Women’s travel bag you’ve been thinking of treating yourself to for a while. Why not invest in comfort and travel in style, while getting ready for that long-awaited holiday season. Check out some fab options from Keri Kit today and get started planning for that dream getaway.

beach and cocktail

Finally, remember to enjoy your escape! All this preparation might seem like a lot of work, but it will make your holiday much less stressful once you’ve arrived at your destination. It can mean that you will enjoy your holiday more at the end of the day – having familiarised yourself with not just the rules, but the culture of the places you’re going to, and maybe even made some local friends while seeking advice, who knows! The days of spontaneous travel abroad as we know it might be largely gone, at least for the time being, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have great holidays, as long as we’re well prepared for them.

Blog by - Ayo Isinkaye. Why Matters - Shopify Agency


*Collaborative post

Letterbox Flower Delivery From LOV Flowers

When you want flowers to surprise someone it can be hard to know which company to use. There are so many flower delivery companies around. There is one I want to tell you about today - LOV Flowers. This is a collaboration with LOV Flowers but all opinions are my own. 

LOV Flowers are a flower delivery company that delivers flowers through your letterbox. All the flowers are premium grade A1 quality flowers. A1 flowers must meet all the minimum requirements which include straight and sturdy stems, uniformity of colour, thickness and large heads. You know with LOV Flowers that they don't compromise on quality so you can be reassured that your flowers will arrive in perfect condition. 

I was impressed when I looked at the LOV Flowers website there are some gorgeous bouquets on the site. Here are my favourite bouquets from LOV Flowers.


THE FREJA

THE FREJA £44.50

This beautiful pastel bouquet is my first choice. With colours that remind me of spring, this bouquet will make anyone's day. The 18 stem letterbox bouquet is made up of peach Avalanche roses, pink sweet Avalanche roses, lavender campanulas, pink snapdragons and fragrant eucalyptus. This bouquet looks bright and breezy and would look gorgeous in your lounge.

THE SAGA bouquet

THE SAGA £34.50

When you want something classically beautiful then the Saga bouquet should be your choice. It's a stunning 17 stem bouquet of white Avalance roses, with some greenery mixed in. The bouquet symbolises new beginnings and purity and would make a lovely gift for someone starting a new job or a new mum.

The Tyra bouquet
THE TYRA £39.50

The Tyra bouquet is my next choice. Perfect for those in your life that likes pink, this bouquet is made up of pink sweet Avalanche roses and fragrant eucalyptus. The perfume from this 19 stem bouquet would fragrance any room as well as light up the life of the person who receives it. 

Elsa bouquet
THE ELSA £29.50

The Elsa bouquet is my choice for those that really appreciate a wildflower bouquet. With blue thistle flower, white carnations, white alstroemerias and scented eucalyptus, these flowers are in season all year round and smell divine. I know my mum would appreciate this bouquet as she loves wildflowers and carnations are her favourites too.

Each bouquet comes with a flower-arranging guide as well as flower food and is in recyclable packaging. If you order before 1pm on weekdays and 11am on Saturdays, then you can have same day delivery in London, which is great to know and free next day delivery nationwide. The packaging is also made in the UK and everything is either recyclable or biodegradable or compostable. The flowers are as fresh as can be as each flower is bought specifically for each bouquet and made to order. You also don't have to be sure your recipient is at home as these flowers are sent via letterbox friendly packaging. With bouquets starting from £25.50 LOV Flowers offer a great service, don't you think?

Let me know, what do you think of the LOV Flowers website? Which is your favourite bouquet?

*Collaborative post

8 Style Tricks For Better Fitting Clothes

Every shopper has experienced a disappointing purchase at one time or another. One of the most common mistakes is trying on a garment you liked and realising that it looked better on the rack than on you. Or worse, you’ve already bought the item and lost the receipt so you’re stuck with a new top or skirt that looks cute but doesn’t actually fit you well.

In these cases, it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with your body. Perhaps you think your shoulders are too broad, or that your stomach is too big. Cast these worries away because you are not the problem. Remember, clothes today are often mass-produced, and they are designed with only a few body types in mind. Thus, it’s not surprising that not all clothes will immediately look good on you as they do in the photos you see.

fashion catwalk

The key to making your clothes work is to adjust them to fit your body shape better. Of course, you can have clothes made specifically for you, but most people don’t have the money or time for that. Fortunately, your choices for clothing are limitless in today’s market—you just need to know where to look! To start, here are a couple of tricks you can use to guide future shopping trips and make the most of your current wardrobe.

Go Up One Size

The process of styling your clothes begins at the store. If you are unsure what your size is, it’s recommended that you purchase your clothes one size bigger. After all, it’s easier to alter a garment that has too much material rather than one that has no give. Additionally, it will account for any weight fluctuations in months to come, ensuring that you can make the most of your favourite clothes.

The only exception to this rule applies to elastic garments or clothes that are meant to be close-fitting. For example, if you’re planning on buying denim leggings online, opt for the size you usually wear. These clothes are made to be stretched, so you can feel assured that these clothes will hug your body perfectly.

Put On A Belt

Never underestimate the usefulness of a good belt. This accessory has many uses outside of keeping your trousers in place. If you’re wearing a baggy blouse or dress, you can put a belt around your waist to cinch the garment’s material and accentuate your body shape more effectively.

The main downside of using a belt is that it grabs attention. Hence, if you feel conscious about the size or shape of your midsection, avoid using big belts and buckles around that area. Opt for thin belts or material instead. They will still cinch your waist without putting too much focus on your stomach.

Knot The Extra Fabric Of Your Top


Is your top too big? Don’t think about altering it yet because there are several fun tricks you can do to make it fit you better. One easy fashion hack is tying the extra fabric into a knot. You can tie a knot in front, on the side, or even at the back depending on how you’ll layer your clothes.

Aside from knotting, you can also roll the sleeves or add pins and a ribbon to the inner part of the garment so that you can pull the fabric in and add definition to your figure. You can even check online for videos on how to convert large button-down tops into a flattering off-shoulder style.

Tuck In Your Shirt

Tucking in your top is an easy way to make a shapeless garment look cleaner and more streamlined.  If your jeans still have a little more allowance, opt for a shirt with thicker material, so they can fill in the extra gaps well in case you have no belt.

Additionally, tucking in your shirt is a great way to make the bottom half of your body look longer. If you wish to elongate your legs, put on a pair of high-waisted jeans or trousers and tuck your long top in (or opt for a short top entirely). Coupled with a pair of comfy heels or wedges, you’ve successfully made your bottom half look longer and even created an illusion that you’re a little taller—a great trick for people who wish to add a few extra inches to their height.

Layer Your Clothes

Layering is an important skill in dressing up. You can apply it to every facet of creating an outfit, including making your clothes fit you better. For example, if you’re concerned that your blouse hangs a little too low, adding layers under and over it addresses this concern while adding a fun twist to your outfit. Another situation where layering comes in handy is if there’s a gap between the buttons of your button-up shirt. People with large chests often struggle with this. If you experience this, try tying a scarf around your neck to hide the gap or wearing a thin undershirt or camisole first before putting the button-up shirt on to keep your chest from peeking out.

Add Some Give To Your Jeans

It’s tricky to add some allowance to tight clothes, especially your bottoms. That said, it’s not impossible. One handy trick you can easily do to create more space on the waistband only requires a rubber hair tie. To do this, loop one end of the hair tie around the button of your jeans and pull it through the buttonhole. Loop it back to the button like an elastic lock. Afterwards, hide everything with a buckled belt and fasten it securely. This tip is especially useful if you’ve just finished eating a meal and your midsection feels a tad bit too snug.

Wear Heels Or Wedges For Long Trousers

When picking out trousers, the general rule of thumb is to get one that fits your hip-to-waist ratio. After all, it’s easier to adjust the length of your trousers rather than alter the waistline. In some cases, you may not even need to alter the length at all. You can always fold the hems inward for a cleaner look. However, if you don’t like how it bunches up the hems, try matching your long trousers with high-heeled shoes. The extra height ensures that the hems won’t drag across the floor, preventing them from getting dirty or tripped on.

Alter Your Clothes


Lastly, have your clothes altered by a trusted tailor. It is the most effective way to ensure that your clothes fit your body best. That said, going to a tailor can be quite pricey, so it’s best to limit the alterations to your wardrobe essentials or your most expensive items (e.g. blazer, suit, etc.). For your other clothes, consider learning to do the alterations yourself. There are many DIY tutorials on altering clothes online. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn a new useful skill and also save a couple of pounds in the process.

Conclusion: Wear According To What Your Body Needs

The rule of thumb in fashion is simple. If it fits you well, you look better in it. Many individuals often get swept away by trends and what the fashion community deems fashionable at the moment without taking their body shape into account. This can lead to a lot of disappointment when you feel the latest fashions don’t seem to suit you.

When you consider your body type, determine which cuts and styles look more flattering on you, not other people. This will stop you from making a fashion mistake. Then take your personality and preferences into account to show a fashionable look that is uniquely you. 


Are You Wearing the Right Socks?

There are many different types of socks out on the market today, and a lot of them boast special qualities that are suited for specific conditions and activities. For example, men's compression crew socks are available for different kinds of activities like sitting, standing, and engaging in sports, to name a few. There are even socks that are designed for leisure, formal events, and for casual days out.

woman wearing socks

How do you know which of these socks are best suited for your particular needs? Below are a few scenarios wherein special sock features and qualities can help you complete your tasks more safely and comfortably.

Attending A Formal Event

Formal events mean dressing up in clothes and accessories that are steeped in tradition, even in modern times. So, if you’re attending a wedding, gala, ball, or any ceremony that requires you to wear formal clothing, you need to pay attention to the details of your attire, down to the socks that you wear.

To be specific, short socks don’t work well with most formal clothes. That’s because showing your ankles during these occasions is considered a faux pas, and bulky socks can ruin the svelte look of your outfit.

That said, it’s traditional to wear dress socks or mid-to over-the-calf socks that are made of smooth materials for such events. While dress socks often come in black, grey, and navy blue, it’s perfectly fine to wear socks with fun colours and prints if the said design elements go well with the rest of your outfit.

Enjoying A Casual Day Out


A casual day out by yourself or with friends also requires careful planning. After all, you wouldn’t want to be bothered by an uncomfortable pair of socks that may cause chafing or clash with the rest of your outfit. Instead, you should be able to focus all your attention on the activities that you have lined up for the rest of the day.

So, on the night before your day out, it's a good idea to put your outfit together and decide which pair of socks will best complement your overall look. Ideally, the socks you choose should match well with your choice of shoes and trousers or jeans. If you don’t want your socks to stand out at all, you can also go with no-show socks that will keep your feet comfy and dry throughout the day.

Engaging In Athletic Activities

While you’re working out or playing sports, your feet will be bearing the brunt of your weight. A pair of athletic socks that has proper cushioning will help keep your feet comfy and reduce your risk of incurring injuries. Socks that have moisture-wicking and odour-reducing properties can also add a level of comfort and keep your feet feeling fresh and dry even after you’re done with your workout.

Sitting Or Standing All Day

Sitting or standing for hours on end due to the nature of your work or while you’re travelling from one place to another may over time negatively affect your health.

You see, sitting or standing for prolonged periods can put added stress on the blood vessels in your legs. Over time, this can lead to the development of venous disorders like varicose and spider veins and deep vein thrombosis.

To reduce your risk of acquiring these conditions, it’s a good idea to get socks that offer graduated compression. The added pressure offered by compression socks can make it much easier for the blood vessels in your lower extremities to deliver blood to the upper portion of your body. This, in turn, will make the blood vessels in your legs less prone to damage and injury.

Relaxing At Home

Even if you’re just chilling at home, your feet can still sweat and get your socks damp. That’s why wearing the right kinds of socks during your leisure time is so important. If you’ve got the wrong pair on, you could end up with socks soaked in sweat. To make matters worse, moist socks can promote the development of odour and cause you discomfort while you’re trying to relax. Of course, no one wants that.

Fortunately, you can make the most out of your me-time if you’re wearing socks that are specifically designed for lounging about. These socks should fit well on your feet, and they should have moisture-wicking and odour-eliminating properties. This way, you can spend the rest of your day in comfort and confidence, knowing full well that your socks won’t let you down.

Keep all the above tips in mind, and you’ll always find yourself with the perfect pair of socks for the occasion. Don’t just stick to plain white ones, either, as you have plenty of designs, colours, and patterns to choose from. Just make sure to look for special features that will elevate your socks from a stylish accessory to a source of comfort and added support.

Effective Ways To Deal With Food Allergies

When the immune system of our body reacts unusually to specific foods then it means we have become allergic to that food. Food allergies depend on the intolerance of your body towards certain kinds of food. Some people are lactose intolerant while some have peanut allergies. Some may not stand the environment in which there are plants as they get pollen allergies from them. 

itching

Let us take a closer look at some of the common food allergies.

Eggs

Most children are allergic to egg whites which is why they cannot digest eggs properly. This allergy may go on its own with the passing of an age.

Cow’s milk

Some people are also allergic to dairy products and therefore, cannot digest anything made from dairy products, especially cow’s milk. Children are mostly allergic to cow’s milk when they are fed before six months. They may become tolerant when they grow up.

Peanuts

Peanut allergies are fairly common throughout the world. People with a family history of peanut allergy are most likely to develop this allergy.

Symptoms of food allergies

The signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of food allergy. Some common signs are as follows:

  • Swollen face
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness in mouth or ears
  • Red itchy rash

These signs must not be neglected and the patient must seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis

You must visit an allergy clinic and book an appointment with an allergist. You will be asked questions relating to your eating habits. Some tests can be run in the lab to rule out the symptoms of any other disease. Be honest with the doctor and pay attention to the instructions being given to you.

There are some home testing kits available in the market as well which you can try to test at home.

Treatment

The best way to prevent any food allergy is to be aware of your body’s reaction. You must identify the foods which make your body react in a negative way.

Medications


If you have got a food allergy then it is better to visit your GP. your doctor may prescribe you some antihistamines to get rid of the mild symptoms of allergic reaction. They are easily available at discounted rates at PricePro Pharmacy which specializes in selling authentic medicines at affordable prices.

Keep an auto-injector pen handy

If you have unknowingly consumed a food item that causes an instant allergic reaction then you must keep an auto-injector pen always with you as it contains adrenaline in case of severe allergic reactions.

Dietary changes

After a proper diagnosis, if you have determined the exact cause of food allergy, you can reduce the use of that source but do not completely eliminate it from your diet. Try to consult with a certified dietician to incorporate minor changes in your diet. The dietician may also recommend some healthier alternatives to you.

*This post is for information purposes only and does not offer medical advice. Collaborative post

April Chocolate Competition With Hotel Chocolat Ends 08/05

So it will be Easter soon. Spring is a great time of year usually, but with world events, everything is quite depressing at the moment.  I don't know about you but I think we could all do with some cheering up and some nice weather. The world is such a sad place at the moment. So carrying on from the success of my recent competitions I am giving away another scrumptious box of chocolates this month.





For April I am giving away a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates. It will be one of the Everything H boxes, which they produce at least 6 versions of.

Hotel Chocolat is a luxury ethical chocolate brand that I have been a fan of for a while now. They are especially fantastic as they help support cocoa farmers and their communities in Saint Lucia and Ghana.

Hotel Chocolat base the brand on three main ingredients, Innovation, Authenticity and Ethics. Their chocolate has an authentic taste of "less sugar more cocoa". It's great that they also base their business on a strong ethical stance and over the last 8 years have invested in the cocoa communities in Saint Lucia and Ghana. They are a rare breed - a chocolatier that actually grows their own cocoa beans and looks after their suppliers.

Entry is via the Gleam app, you need to answer a question below, and entry is easy with a click of a button. If the chocolate is unavailable I will send you good quality chocolate of a similar value e.g. other Lindt chocolate, Hotel Chocolate or Cadburys. Good luck!

Slightly Different Foods Review - Food For A Gut-Friendly Diet

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common digestive disorder characterised by stomach cramps, bloating diarrhoea and constipation. If you suffer from this you know how debilitating this condition can be. Simply put, it's not fun, I know as I suffer myself. There is no cure but medication and diet changes can help. A FODMAP diet could help. Let's have a look at what that means, and a range of food suitable for the FODMAP diet called Slightly Different Foods. This is an advertorial with Slightly Different Foods, all words and opinions are my own.

Who are Slightly Different Foods?

Home cook and founder Sonia Fox developed the company Slightly Different Foods after being diagnosed with IBS in 2014. Her research into ways in which to alleviate her condition led her to the low FODMAP diet, but what does that mean? FODMAPs or Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and are prone to absorb water and ferment in the colon.  

The low FODMAP diet is a diet to follow only if you have been diagnosed by a doctor with IBS. It's an elimination diet where you avoid certain foods thought to trigger IBS symptoms and then you slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to find your triggers. Common triggers are foods like garlic, onion, cow's milk, wheat products and milk. 


Slightly Different Foods have created store cupboard foods that have been developed to be gut-friendly for those following a diet that is low in FODMAP foods.
 
Their food has no artificial preservatives, flavourings or colouring, is lower in sugar and salt than normal store cupboard food and is free from animal-based ingredients. The food is also Gluten-Free certified, and they exclude all 14 of the major allergens in all their products.

I was sent the Around The World pack of Low FODMAP sauces to review by Slightly Different Foods. Now, this pack is extensive and consists of a selection of 10 sauces, these are Smooth Bolognese, Chilli Non Carne, Thai Red Curry, Arraibiata, Tomato and Basil, Sweet and Sour, Tropical Curry, Sweet Chili, Tikka Marsala and Mexican Fajita. 

smooth bolognaise

I haven't managed to eat all the sauces yet, so I will show you a selection of the sauces I've tried so far. I think it will take me at least a month or two to work my way through the sauces so this is a taster of what they have in stock.

chilli

The three I am going to review are Smooth Bolognese, Chilli Non-Carne and Thai Red Curry.

Thai red curry


All the sauces are completely ready-made in a jar, you just add in anything you want, such as chicken, minced beef or veggie mince. Of course, you need to take into account if the food added is on the low FODMAP list if you are following this strictly. 

Bolognese

It was good to read the ingredients on the label that there are no additives in the sauce. The sauce was easy to use and I added it to browned minced beef. You could make this veggie-friendly by adding suitable vegetables instead that are low FODMAP.

The bolognese sauce was tasty. I did notice that it was not as sweet as other bolognese sauces I had used in the past. It had a nice herby flavour. It was great that there was no onion or garlic used, and I did wonder how the company would recreate the flavour,  but they managed to do this using herbs and spices. If you are not following the FODMAP diet strictly (perhaps you have already done this and have reintroduced food slowly), you could add some extras if you know they do not affect you. I would normally add a squirt of tomato sauce for sweetness when making a bolognese.

chili label

bolognaise cooking


bolognaise meal

Chilli

Again it was good to read the chilli label and that it had no suspicious additives. If you are not being strict about the FODMAP diet you could add some chopped red pepper and some kidney beans like I did. 

The chilli I thought was better than the previous sauce. It was quite spicy and tomatoey and had some good acidity. Again you couldn't tell that it did not contain onions or garlic, two big triggers for many people suffering from IBS.  A dish like a chilli can normally be very triggering for people with IBS but this did not upset my stomach at all.

bolognaise






Thai Red Curry

Now Red Thai Curry is one of my favourite dishes so I was excited to try this. A good Red Thai Curry has flavours of coconut, and some spice and is slightly sweet. It's my go-to meal that I order in a Thai restaurant. For this dish, I stir-fried some Quorn vegan pieces to brown them for 10 mins and added the Red Thai Curry sauce and heated it through for 10 mins. I served it with pilau rice to make a tasty meal on the table fast.

I really enjoyed this Red Thai Curry and I think it was my favourite sauce that I tried. The sauce was flavourful and had hints of coconut and lemongrass. It had mild heat from the chilli too. I was pleased that it had a little sweetness. I think the sauce is a good store cupboard standby.

thai curry


red Thai curry

red Thai curry and rice

I used vegan Quorn in the dish and on the Slightly Different Food website, there is a range of Vegan recipes too that incorporate the sauces. 

None of the sauces seemed to affect my stomach which I was incredibly pleased about. The sauces pack some great flavour and they are useful to have in the cupboard if you experience any digestive issues.

If you are interested in these sauces and want to check out everything the Slightly Different Food company sell check out their website. From cooking sauces to mayo to condiments and table sauces, they sell a range of gut-friendly food products.

Let me know, would you try these sauces?

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5 Reasons You Should Consider A Moissanite Engagement Ring

Moissanite is among one of the most ethical, sustainable and affordable engagement ring choices out there and is fast becoming a staple in the world of engagement rings and all for the right reasons! This is an advertorial with Lily Arkwright. 

Moissanite rings make for a beautiful choice and today we have comprised a list of 5 reasons why you should join all the other savvy couples who are opting for this fantastic gemstone as their engagement ring.

If you didn’t already know, moissanite is a white gemstone that is strikingly similar to a diamond and extremely rare in nature. Moissanite is made up of the material, silicon carbide.

It was first discovered in 1893 by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr Henri Moissan who discovered small quantities of natural silicon carbide. It was found in a meteorite and was later named "moissanite" in honour of Dr Moissan. However, silicon carbide supply was too limited for jewellery use and it wasn’t until over 100 years later scientists were able to replicate the natural growing process in a lab and manufacture it on a large scale. Taking us to today, where almost all moissanite set in jewellery and engagement rings is lab-grown.

So Why Should You Opt For A Moissanite Ring?

Moissanite ring

Moissanite is affordable

When we think of an engagement ring the conventional idea tends to be a bright gold band with a big shiny diamond but as we all know, this can be very expensive. Of course, diamond rings make a beautiful and classic choice for an engagement ring but the reality is, a diamond ring is not within everyone's budget and if it is you’re very lucky. However, what if we told you you could get that same brilliance and fire from a diamond ring for just a fraction of the price! Moissanite costs around 90% less than mined diamonds, making them a really affordable choice for those budget-conscious couples and consumers.

Moissanite is durable

The durability of a piece of jewellery is something that should be strongly considered during your buying process. It’s well known that diamonds are the hardest mineral on the planet with a score of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which is a measurement of scratch resistance a mineral has. Moissanite is the second hardest mineral used in setting jewellery, with a score of 9.25, making moissanite an amazing choice for jewellery designed to be worn every day, such as engagement rings.

Ethical and sustainable

A considerable factor of moissanite are its ethical and sustainable credentials due to it being exclusively grown in a laboratory. Unlike mined diamonds, lab-grown jewellery such as moissanite and lab diamonds have a significantly smaller carbon footprint as all of the ethical implications involved with mining practices are eliminated. As consumers become more aware of the ramifications of their purchases, more and more couples are opting for moissanite as a green choice that also happens to look stunning!

Moissanite is super sparkly!

Moissanite is almost indistinguishable from a natural diamond, thanks to meticulous lab growing processes and checks by expert scientists. The chemical structure and refractoriness of this gem mean that it can slow down and bend the light entering it much better than other minerals, giving off an almost rainbow-like sparkle effect. It makes for a wonderful alternative as a colourless stone, and due to its optical properties displays a remarkable brilliance and fire displayed only in the highest quality gems.

Moissanite is fully certified and traceable

Thanks to the way in which moissanite is produced, it means there is a far smaller production line. Lily Arkwright are proud authorised sellers of premium Charles and Colvard forever one moissanite which always comes with a certificate of authenticity. Charles & Colvard are the leading architects in moissanite and are the original creators of the fabulous gemstone. Lily Arkwright are also Assay Assured retailers and can guarantee that all of their jewellery meets and exceeds legal requirements having been independently tested, proving outstanding quality to their customers.

Final Thoughts

If the idea of moissanite engagement rings has piqued your interest or you would like to find out more information about Lily Arkwright and their lab diamond collections simply call them on: 0161 537 6773, or alternatively, you can email their jewellery consultancy team at: hello@lilyarkwright.com or book an in-person consultation.

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From Wedding Decorations On The Table To Colourful Gift Bags For Guests - Ways To Thank Your Guests On Your Wedding Day

If you are planning a wedding there are many things you have to think about, from the dress to the reception venue, to the food, to where you are getting married. It can be a stressful experience as there are so many things you want to get perfect. One thing you can't afford to forget though, and you may not have thought about it, is to thank your guests for coming. 

gift bag
Let's have a look at ways to say thank you to your guests on your wedding day.

Pastel or colourful gift bags for guests

Welcome bags or thank you gifts for guests make a perfect little souvenir to take home. Saketos are a brand that makes a large range of jute, linen and organza fabric wedding decoration bags in a range of pastel and bright colours at an affordable price. Fill the bags with, cookies, love hearts, soaps, lip balm or other favours for the guests to take home.  I've even seen plantable seed paper hearts full of wildflower seeds native to the British isles. What a fabulous idea.

Wedding decorations on the table

As well as wedding thank you gifts for guests wrapped in organza bags, guests could also be encouraged to take home wedding decorations as a little thank you. This could be the floral decoration, I mean who wants waste these days, to disposal cameras left on the table for guests to take photos. This is a great way to have informal photos of the wedding day too, perhaps get two copies of the photos - one for the guest and one for the bride and groom. 

A personal message in the speeches

A personal message in the speeches is a lovely way to acknowledge the guests. This works well with those close to the bride and groom, such as the best man, maid of honour and parents, however anybody that makes the day special can be mentioned. It's a good idea that tissues are on the top table though, these things can get emotional! 

Personalised gifts for the wedding party

Of course, it's a good idea to give a gift to those in the immediate wedding party. I do like using a personalised gift for this occasion. You could get your bridesmaids an item of jewellery with their initials on for example. For the best man what about a tankard engraved with a message of thanks? Mums could be presented with gifts of their favourite flowers, whilst dads could be presented with personalised cufflinks. There are many types of personalised gifts that are suitable. 

Gifts for the kids at the wedding 

Weddings can be long and tiring, so it's a good idea to have small gifts for the kids that are there to keep them occupied. Think about an age appropriate toy, such as colouring books, toy cars, or a pocket sized playset to keep the children busy. A healthy snack may also be a good idea, but be sure to pass it by the parents first in case of dietary restrictions. 

As you can see there are a number of ways to thank your guests on your wedding day. What do you think of my ideas? Do you have any of your own? What did you do at your wedding? 

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Red Skin On The Hands: What It Could Be And How To Identify The Cause

It would be fair to say that of all the parts of our body, our hands come into contact with the most different materials and surfaces, and we use many different products, soaps and sanitisers on them every day. It’s not surprising then that red, inflamed skin on our hands is quite common. There are a few things that can cause this red skin on the hands. What causes can be treated with a topical cream and when should you see a doctor? Let’s have a look at some of the more common causes and how to treat them.

Some Of The Common Causes

psoriasis

Allergic reactions are one of the most common causes of red skin on the hands, which can be caused by contact with something that you are allergic to. Common causes of allergic reactions are adverse reactions to an ingredient in a skincare product or cream, a plant or a chemical. Redness on the hands, particularly when associated with plants can take a few days to appear, which makes finding the source quite difficult.

Hives (also called urticaria) is another common cause of red skin on the hands. They’re another kind of allergic reaction and appear as itchy bumps that can become lighter when pressed. Although they usually resolve without much effort, they can also precede a life-threatening anaphylaxis event. Patient, an online resource with evidence-based medical advice and health topics, has some good information about hives, their cause and how to treat them.

Other skin conditions like psoriasis, lichen plantus and keratolysis exfoliative are less common, but can also be the cause of red skin on the hands.

Preventing Red Skin On The Hands

woman gardening


There are some steps you can take to avoid developing red, itchy and scaly skin on your hands:

  • If you’re working in the yard or with chemicals, always wear a good pair of gloves suitable for the activity.
  • Don’t use medicated creams unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Try and stick to moisturising creams and products without fragrances.

Common Treatments

In general, the initial treatments for red skin on the hands are almost always a topical cream, which will vary based on the type of rash or skin condition you’re experiencing. An antifungal cream would help with fungal infections, while something that provides relief like calamine lotion or antihistamines could be used for allergic reactions.

When to See a Doctor

Red skin on the hands can be a sign of more serious conditions and shouldn’t be dismissed if it doesn’t clear up quickly or if it occurs often. Associated symptoms like a high temperature or discharge from the affected area indicate that you might need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

If your breathing is affected or if the rash and redness start to spread over your body, you should visit the emergency room straight away.

Many rashes don’t require medical treatment and will generally clear up on their own rather quickly, but don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if the redness and rash are causing you prolonged discomfort.

*This article is for information purposes only, in an emergency always ring 999 and ask for an ambulance

How to Supercharge Your Etsy Craft Business

Etsy is the perfect place to sell custom jewellery and handcrafted garments. With a customer base looking to spend a little extra on ethically created, unique goods, this is a space where you can sell the products of your passion. 


However, it can be a competitive place, so here are some tips on how to get your products selling.

Custom Labels

Personalisation is your greatest USP when it comes to selling on Etsy, so you don’t want to leave any stone unturned in offering customization for their purchases. One of many ways to do this is through custom printed labels, in which the customer can select from a large range of quotes - one that resonates with them - for your to then stitch onto the good upon purchase.

Social Media

Social media isn’t just the most important marketing space in general, but even more so for handcraft businesses - these have viral potential when creating content. The most important thing is to connect your Etsy business to your socials by having the store URL in your bio and handles on your Etsy page.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for unique products, as it’s an effective way for new customers to become aware of your unique product through a trusted celebrity.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is arguably the most important marketing method of growing a business or website online, and this even extends to Etsy. Understanding the keywords that your customers are searching for so you can have an SEO-optimised shop description is important. It’s not just about ranking higher within Etsy’s searches, but Google’s, as direct Etsy product pages are included in Google results.

Research your competitors

It’s important to know what you’re up against if you’re to truly understand your own unique value proposition. If new entrants enter the market, think about how you can stay ahead and remain different. But also, if you’re seeing them succeed, don’t feel shy about following trends too, as long as you’re remaining authentic.

Type in what you believe the customer might (you can use search engine question tools to help) and see what the Etsy results are. See how far down you are, who is ahead of you, and why are they. Apply any areas of success that they’re doing onto your own, but also think about how you can differentiate from them.

Blogging


It’s likely that if you’re a small craft business, you likely have a strong brand story - and if you don’t, it’s time to build one. Personalizing your business through blogging your brand’s journey - or your own personal one - can be a great way to build up a loyal customer base who regularly tune into your blogs.

Within your blog, you can post links to your Etsy page or even sell directly there to avoid the Etsy fees. You can use your SEO research findings from the last point to also help grow organic traffic to the blog, but ultimately, regular, long-form interesting content is king.

Finally, if you manage to build some regular traffic, it’s important to create a mailing list to capitalise on this. A monthly newsletter appearing in your ideal demographic’s inbox who are already familiar with the brand is a great way to increase repeat sales.

*Collaborative post

Create Your Own Unique Story With Story Jewellery

We all have precious possessions that mean a lot to us. A photo of our grandmother, your baby's first curl, a blanket knitted by your mother. Then there is the jewellery we treasure that means so much. That's the thing about jewellery, it's bought for life's occasions such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and Mother's Day. Jewellery tells a story, a story about us. This is an advertorial with Story Jewellery. 

Who Are Story Jewellery?


Story Jewellery


Story Jewellery are a company that aims to bring the bond we have as humans into their jewellery. Their jewellery delivers a compelling message of love, friendship, and empowerment. They say their jewellery sends an unspoken message to loved ones, whether that is how much they mean to you or how strong they are or another message full of hope and love.  There are so many lovely pieces of jewellery on the Story Jewellery website, so let us have a look at some of my favourite pieces.

My Story Jewellery Wishlist

The Endless Knot ring is a ring with an intertwined design. The design interacts together like a couple does. It's a symbol of love, of security, of being together forever. It's a sweet heartfelt design and a dainty ring made of sterling silver and cubic zirconia. It's the perfect gift to show someone just how much you love them. rainbow ring

Rainbow Ring

For those going through tough times, the rainbow ring is a perfect gift. In fact, you don't just get one ring you get two, a thin band with an engraved design and a multicoloured rainbow design ring, both in silver. The rainbow ring has adjustable sizing and it's so pretty, catching the light with the rainbow colours. The rainbow ring is in two options, one is silver and one is on a base metal, which is plated with 18k rose gold.


Another ring with a knot design is the mother-daughter ring. The infinity design shows how much you mean to someone and that you are intertwined forever. The silver design is exceptionally pretty and is inset with cubic zirconia. The message card that comes with it says 'The love of mother and daughter is forever.' I bet any mother would love this ring, I know I would.

The enamel fidget ring is a great ring to help promote positive mental health. It's a pretty ring and comes in a choice of three multi-coloured options. The beads on the ring spin so it can help with anxiety, keeping you focused when you play with it, rather than preoccupied with the worries of the world. The rhyme on the card that accompanies the ring states the fidget ring is there to love and protect you from anything you fear.

As you can see there are many beautiful items of jewellery from Story Jewellery, suitable for your mum, daughter, or friend. Let me know which of these items do you like? Are there any items of jewellery you hold dear?

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